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Changes in wildlife.

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This morning I witnessed a fascinating alliance of bird species around my house.


Two currawongs, occasional visitors that normally attract a ferocious response from our resident Willy-wagtails, were chasing a strange bird I have never seen before. The visitor had a stork-like honk, but in flight I took it to be a type of hawk. It's bill disproved that notion; long and ugly, it resembled a tropical fruit-eater. The poor bugger struggled from tree to tree, trying to shelter from the relentless attacks by three pairs from different species.


I've had pee-wees and willies living around me for most of my life, but this is the first time I've seen the delicate, wimpy little pee-wees go on the offensive. They normally rely on the energetic little Willy-wagtails to defend the territory they share. 

They drove at the poor visitor, then had a go at the currawongs for old time's sake. The willies filled in the spaces the larger birds couldn't reach until the stranger decided this was not a nice place to be.


This looks to be the one:






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I love the sound of the channel Billed Cuckoo or Storm Bird as he is known. It is supposed to presage rain and we could certainly do with some of that.


Here our resident pair of Laughing Cookaburras are misbehaving. The male is madly attacking his reflection in the windows and has torn the fly screens to pieces in one window. they have never done that before and I have lived here for 40 years. We are very short of birds, due to the dry conditions.



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It must be something in the air so to speak.


We have 2 resident Kookaburras which the willy Wag Tails are happy to annoy the crap out of.


Today as I was hand feeding 1 Kookie he was dive bombed by a Pee Wee.


It is not the first time I have seen a Pee Wee get aggressive, but it certainly a rare enough occurrence to rate a mention.


The Kookies sit on my back fence and from time to time I will let them have a very small piece of my dogs meat treat, much to the dogs disgust.


They will let me walk up to them but will not eat from my hand whilst they are sitting. However if I stand still long enough, the larger one will come and take a piece out of my hand on the fly.


It is quite a feeling.



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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

My mate and I took his crappy Suzuki Hustler-based racer to Oran Park a few weeks before Easter in the late 70s.


It was a practise day, divided into half-hour sessions: first cars, then bikes. While we waited our turn we were amazed at the antics of a couple of three-wheel outfits.


Then a Torana XU-1 took to the track. My very knowledgeable mate was quite scathing of the rough cornering technique and gear changes of the driver.


When the car returned to the pits and the driver climbed out, he went all quiet. 


It was a couple of former world champions, preparing for their run at Bathurst. 


Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss.



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Side car racing used to be great fun at Oran park.


Being the swinger- monkey is a extreme sport. I learnt very quickly that you hold on or a very short and hard landing will occur.


A real lesson in g forces that is impossible to forget. And you have to hang off like a monkey to make it go around corners.


A real blast on a tz powered long bike. It is brutal on the body though, like been mauled by a gorilla. And that is if you do it right. If not, an ambulance is a real good outcome.


A friend still builds race chassis for the racers. His body is no longer race fit but he lived.


Slightly less dangerous than six rounds of Russian roulette. But a lot more fun.



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The Outfit people were always "different" You could usually tell by their portliness (riders) Those mad enough to  be in the chair seemed either dumb or totally without fear. Their work is essential to a good outcome. Yes some pretty horrendous prangs at times "on the Mountain" with bikes generally. Nev



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The portly rider thing is often true.


I think because they do bugger all except sit "in" their spot and just move the bars a tiny bit, the throttle a lot and brakes heaps. The rider is sitting in the bike and it holds them in place. So fitness is less of a issue than solo bikes. Also they tend to be lot more social than solo racers are between teams.


Possibly due to the consumption of vitamin Beer amongst fellow comrades who may or may not be still viable after a race weekend. A bit like fighter pilots after a campaign they survive- lots of drinking.


A fatalistic approach to life helps a great deal- why look after yourself if today might be the last.


Us poor monkeys only got mega doses of brave pills, get thrown around by a  G gorilla and hang on literally for life. So you have to be nimble, fit, not care about losing litres of sweat, have a spouse that understands you have not been in a boxing ring nor a S&M dungeon and a very high degree of invincibility/stupidity.


Also a driver to get you home is needed- your body is almost jelly once the adrenaline wears off and the pain starts. 


For those unaware, the only thing keeping the outfit on the track is the movement of the monkey to balance the forces. Loose the monkey or failure to manage the forces means leaving the track very quickly and spinning like a top- until you smack something.


Normally there is no such thing as a little off, not like the solo bikes- pansy's.


My time as monkey was short enough to still walk on the earth and not be a Bionic Barry Sheene.


Yes, I was young and full of ......


It was a rush though.



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Yes, they certainly do squash more frogs.


Three race car slicks each 10 inches wide means a lot of squash area and a huge 30 inch contact patch for a 200kg machine.


Also why the G forces are extreme unless you ride a Saturn 5 to work.


Sorry for thread drift.......................I blame Nev.



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Thanks for the limelight Nev.


That's my 15 seconds of fame.


Now just back to infamy which lasts longer.


Meanwhile my horny mate  the blue wren is back and shagging all the girls. Must be the worlds most sex driven beast.


Its like a swingers party, he gets all the fun.....



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